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23 July 2014
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Slavery - The Davenport Collection

The King george Ship log book from 1772
The log book from the King George vessel in 1772

Video Watch the uncovering of the Davenport collection
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By the mid 18th Century, 95% of all slave voyages took place from one Britain’s three major ports, Liverpool, London and Bristol.

William Davenport was a successful Liverpool merchant involved in the transportation of African slaves. Recently a collection of letters, invoices and receipts have been recovered, which highlight the activity of Davenport and his Captains in the capture and selling of African slaves.

The bundles of letters and receipts
Over 12 bundles of letters and receipts were recovered

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The Liverpool Merchant, the first recorded Liverpool slaver ship sold her cargo of 220 West Africans in Barbados in 1700.

The papers particularly highlight the inhumanity of the trade, with the slaves being treated as a cargo.

The slaves were listed not by their names, but as numbers of men women and children, with the only personal detail being their age.
It also reveals the price a slave could be expected to fetch, £80 for two male slaves, a substantial amount of money in the 18th Century.

The records of deaths on board the ship
Many slaves never even reached America with death and disease rife on the slave ships

The documents stand as a dark reminder of Liverpool’s past and their return to the Maritime Museum ensures that it is not forgotten.

The log book
The log books reveal intimate details of the process of slavery





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The Davenport Collection
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